Thoughtful & effective care for... 

*PAIN, HEADACHES, INSOMNIA, DEPRESSION, ANXIETY, ATHLETIC INJURIES, COLDS & FLU, ALLERGIES, DIGESTION, HOT FLASHES, NIGHT SWEATS, WEIGHTLOSS, QUIT SMOKING, FERTILITY, PMS --

*My practice is not limited to this list. If you have a specific question or concern you'd like to address, feel free to contact me here or call or text me at (207) 266-8633.                             

*For a longer list of what acupuncture treats, published by the World Health Organization (WHO), click here.    

*Many people pursue acupuncture to treat these conditions, because the results and medical research are well established. 

Offices are located:

in Brunswick, Maine:                            54 Cumberland St, #2: Map (parking in front) at HS-ACUPUNCTURE

in Portland, Maine:                             773 Congress St, West End, Map           at Health Resonates

in Asheville, North Carolina:
247 Charlotte St, R#3: Map      at White Pine Acupuncture  

"One who eats Qi will attain enlightenment and prolong life."
-- Tao Hong Jing (456-536 C.E.)

Elements of understanding sometimes seem lost in translation. This quote may be such an example, but what it attempts to convey is how basic, pervasive, and all-encompassing the concept of qi is to every aspect of life. Read more here.

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Entries in Chinese medicine (4)

Thursday
Sep082016

OPEN HOUSE - Oct 15, 2016, 2-5 pm - 54 Cumberland St, #2, Brunswick

On Saturday afternoon, October 15, 2016, from 2 to 5 pm, HS-ACUPUNCTURE.COM will host an Open House.

Community members are invited to come and visit, taste some seasonally appropriate Chinese medicinal tea, tour the offices, and learn more about the benefits of acupuncture. Bring your questions and curiosity.

The layout of the office includes a separate, peaceful waiting room; a pleasant community room including four zero gravity, reclinable chairs; in addition to three, comfortably appointed private rooms.

The choice of spaces allows for the best option for your budget and schedule.

Entrance via ramp is easily accessible if needed, as are two restrooms. 

The location is in Brunswick at 54 Cumberland Street, #2, between Maine Street and Route 1.

Come experience the freshly renovated space for yourself. For more information, please call: 266-8633.

Thursday
Jan012015

"Healthy," But...

Have you ever been to your doctor, been told that you were healthy, and yet known that something was not quite right?

In Chinese medicine, the level of intervention can be well before a disease process occurs -- at that moment when you begin to notice that something feels just a little off, in fact. For example, the optimal time with Chinese medicine to catch a cold from developing is when you first feel chilled or a tension in your throat.

As acupuncturists, we identify patterns that are out of balance in our patients (and ideally oursevles) and seek to restore optimal equilibrium or homeostasis, potentially long before a real problem arises.

Put another way, if you were driving down the highway and your car pulled to the right, chances are you would pull over and have a look at your right tire. That's how acupuncture works, before your tire blows out on the highway. Doctors and hospitals are great when your tire blows out. Chinese medicine with acupuncture and herbs can help prevent it from happening in the first place.

At the same time, Chinese medicine can also offer lasting healing within the context of disease once it has already evolved. To do so, the underlying pattern must be addressed. For example, a cancerous tumor can be cut away in an allopathic setting such as a hospital, but if the pattern that gave rise to the tumor in the first place has not changed, it could grow back.

In short, illness is an invitation to change. Whatever we have been doing that resulted in the condition needs to be done differently. Illness is the body's notification system that tells us we need to do things another way. Often this can relate to our lifestyle, diet, exercise, sleeping, stress, relationships, work and how we find meaning in life and meet life's challenges. Looking honestly at these circumstances can be the hardest part of true healing and yet can also offer the greatest reward.

The last time I went to the doctor's, I was struck by how the focus is in such a different place. According to the doctor, I was a picture of health, but from a Chinese medical perspective I knew I had plenty to work on, whether in the realms of treament, prevention or optimization of good health. There are always stagnations to treat, the immune system to bolster in order to overcome the unknown elements we face in a day, as well as the opportunity to become the best version of ourselves.

What interests you more: the treatment of something that is bothering you, the prevention of a particular condition, or the realization of your fullest potential?

 

Thursday
Sep182014

What Is Qi?

"One who eats Qi will attain enlightenment and prolong life."
-- Tao Hong Jing (456-536 C.E.)

The Chinese character above represents "qi." But what is qi?

The quote below the character may not seem to do much by way of clarification. On its own, as it's written, it might even strike the reader as slightly odd. What does that statement mean?

Elements of understanding are sometimes lost in translation, and yet, what I think this quote can illustrate is how basic, pervasive, and all-encompassing the concept of qi is to every aspect of life.

I didn't know much about the concept of qi before starting Chinese medical school. I have a much greater understanding and appreciation of what it encompasses now.

With that, I offer you a few elaborations:

Qi is the quality differentiating a fresh leaf of lettuce just picked from the garden and the wilted leaves forgotten at the back of your refrigerator.

Qi is a steaming pot of rice, fully cooked and awaiting to be eaten, in turn renewing your body's energy with its sustenance.

Qi is breath. Qi is the spark at the start of a life or a twinkle in someone's eye. 

Qi is even sold in China as the air with which to pump bicycle tires.

We can cultivate qi with our bodies and minds, through exercise and meditation. Qi gong and tai qi (alternately spelled, chi gung, tai chi or tai ji) are physical exercises that are often described as "moving meditations," designed to consolidate, or move, or expand one's internal and external qi.

When qi is out of alignment or blocked, illness or pain or dis-ease can arise.

In an acupuncture treatment, qi is what we seek to balance and realign and encourage to flow when it becomes stagnated.

This list is but a sampling of all that qi infuses with its life-giving force. Are you beginning to get a feel for it?

If you're interested in reading more about qi, I recommend the book, A Brief History of Qi. And certainly, use your own experience to give you insights. May you enjoy exploring the qi within and around you!

The above calligraphy has special significance to me, as it's the very image that Jeffrey Yuen, the much respected Chinese medical teacher and 88th generation Daoist priest, brushed and presented to me at my graduation from Chinese medical school. It was a humbling honor that brings me pleasure to share with you here on this website, and with its spirit into my practice.

Monday
Feb032014

SPEAKING WITH MD's

Click here for UNC Medical School Program

I was invited to speak to a group of medical school students at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. The Med School had arranged an introduction to alternative therapies for these future MD's, and I was there to represent the perspective of acupuncture and Chinese medicine.

My hope was to demonstrate how care by an acupuncturist could complement a Western or allopathic medical doctor's care for patients. Here are some highlights from my talk:

*Focus on the Individual: In Chinese medicine, we like to say that our focus is on treating the individual, not just the condition. This often means that we frequently spend more time with our patients, both within our appointments, as well as on a weekly and monthly basis, and therefore over the course of the year.

In terms of treatment, instead of one approach, like advising aspirin for a headache, there are many ways an acupuncturist can treat a patient with pain. We base our acupuncture point prescriptions and herbal formulas, not only on the quality, location, duration and frequency of the patient's experience of pain, but also on the unique diagnoses provided by the patient's tongue and pulse. Many times we will refer back to the patient's pulse during treatment to ensure they are getting the care they need to alleviate their symptoms.

*Safe Treatment, Many Tools: Before I was introduced to the class of medical students, I displayed a few of the many tools available to acupuncturists in providing safe and effective care for our patients. These tools include: needles, moxabustion, gua sha, cupping, e-stim, herbs and essential oils. Click HERE for pictures. Both the variety and safety of these treatments, without dangerous side effects, enable acupuncturists to deliver an individualized, high standard of care.

*Time Spent With Patients: As mentioned earlier, most acupuncturists often see their patients weekly. This time and opportunity for ongoing follow-up allows an acupuncturist to get to know their patients, but also places acupuncturists in an uniquely advantageous position to monitor and refer patients for Western medical treatment as needed.

*Whole Patient Approach: An acupuncturist's focus on the whole patient can sometimes translate into support in the coordination of the patient's care. As Western medicine becomes increasingly specialized, this support can prove helpful to a patient overwhelmed by a recent Western medical diagnosis, for example.

*Scope of Practice: As acupuncturists, we do not make Western medical diagnoses, but we are taught how to recognize the warning signs for medical emergencies. This means that we know when to refer a patient with an irregular heart beat, or a serious infection, or even visual disturbances suggestive of tumor development. While there seems to be an acupuncture point to provide relief for everything a human being might experience, an important aspect of an acupuncturist's training is knowing when to refer to Western medical care.

*Herbs & Pharmacology: An acupuncturist's schooling includes pharmacology. This means that not only do we study the impact of the herbs we prescribe, but we also understand what drugs do, as well as their side effects, and furthermore, how herbs and drugs interact. At least at the present moment, it is unlikely that Chinese herbology is included as part of Western medical school training. This fact makes acupuncturists uniquely qualified to understand the interactions of pharmaceuticals and Chinese herbs. 

*Adjunct Therapy: From chemotherapy and IVF (in vitro fertilization), there are more and more studies, which demonstrate the improved results experienced by patients, when patients combine their Western medical treatments with Chinese medical care.

*Diet & Nutrition: This may be changing in Western medical schools, but the focus on the nutritional counseling that acupuncturists receive as part of their Chinese medical training prepares them to help patients seeking healthy diets and lifestyles.

Before I ended my talk, I couldn't resist offering to needle a point on each med student, allowing them to feel for themselves the hair-width thinness of an acupuncture needle, in contrast to a hypodermic needle. The point I chose was one indicated to relieve stress and soothe frontal headaches, LI 4, which seemed particularly well received by the group.

Have you or someone you know benefitted from combined Western and Chinese medical care?